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Israel launches ground offensive in Gaza as air strikes continue

Israel has launched a ground offensive in Gaza with residents reporting heavy shelling in the area.

Palestinian health officials say 27 Palestinians, including a baby, two children and a 70-year-old woman, have been killed since Israel sent ground forces into the densely-populated strip of 1.8 million Palestinians.

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EU calls for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza

The European Union said it is "in contact with the parties in the [Middle East] region" to press for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, Reuters reports.

The death toll in the week-long crisis has risen with at least 172 Palestinians killed, according to reports.

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